NLY’s top 15 moments of 2017

Matty Pinder came on for the last ten minutes for Worsbrough in the final day clash with Pontefract, six months after been struck down by the Guillain Barre Syndrome.

When you sit down and reflect, 2017 has been a very successful year for Non League football in Yorkshire.

More clubs than normal have won promotion, won silverware and for the first time since NLY was launched, a Yorkshire club from below the National League has reached the FA Cup first round.

Now regular readers will know that NLY has headed in a different direction since August, with the launch of the Community Sport section.

But despite that now taking priority, it has still been a good year for the site as there has been a number of articles which could be classed as proper journalism.

So there it begins, our look back at 2017.

15. Liversedge win at Ramsbottom (August)

Roy Fogarty scored a goal in the last round which will go down as one of the greatest Liversedge goals in recent memory. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Super ‘Sedge stunned their Evo Stik opponents with two last minute goals from Roy Fogarty in the FA Cup. The double earned them a 3-2 victory.

14. Mark Simpson breaks record for Garforth Town (February)

Mark Simpson provided some magic moments for Non League fans while playing for Garforth Town last season

Garforth Town’s prodigal son Mark Simpson broke a club record by scoring in nine consecutive matches. His flukey last minute free kick against Liversedge in February was the record-breaking goal. He did go onto score in a tenth straight match too.

13. Penistone Church beat the might of Whitby Town with ten men (September)

Penistone Church striker Andy Ring has scored countless historic goals during his career

Throughout Penistone’s escapades during 2017, Andy Ring’s name has been prevalent. He was the hero in the dramatic 3-2 FA Cup victory over two leagues higher Whitby. Having lost sent off skipper Danny Howes in the first half, Church somehow hung in there and claimed an unbelievable victory at the death.

12. Pontefract Collieries FA Vase win at Hall Road (November)

Pontefract Collieries striker Vaughan Redford

Pontefract Collieries, arguably the region’s team of the year, were heading out of the FA Vase until Vaughan Redford equalised to take the tie to extra-time at Hall Road Rangers. The Colls went onto win it in extra-time and are the only remaining NCEL side left in the competition – with Wembley only a few rounds away. The Colls have had an exceptional year – they have won promotion, put themselves in the running for the Premier Division title with 16 wins out of 18 and scored over 100 goals already this season.

11. Football League is the aim for Ossett Albion (October)

Big plans: Ossett Albion chairman John Chidlaw (left) and business partner and fellow director Lee Summerscales have ambitious ideas

Ossett Albion have made a few waves recently, especially with the signing of Gibraltar International Adam Priestley. Their chairman John Chidlaw wants the club to reach the Football League.

10. Big ambition at Yorkshire Amateur (June)

Ash Flynn now plays for Yorkshire Amateur

The capture of record-breaking AFC Emley striker Ash Flynn signalled the start of an exciting new era at Yorkshire Amateur – helped by the sponsorship from local businessman Andy Kendall-Jones.

9. Penistone Church win the Toolstation NCEL League Cup (May)

Penistone Church celebrate winning the NCEL League Cup at Bramall Lane

No-one gave Penistone a chance when they entered the play-offs. They didn’t either when they faced higher league Bridlington Town in League Cup final at Bramall Lane. However, Church upset the apple cart again by winning 4-1 against Curtis Woodhouse’s side.

8. Hall Road Rangers win the Toolstation NCEL Division One title (April)

Hall Road Rangers celebrate winning the Toolstation NCEL Division One title in April. Picture: Lee Myers

On a dramatic final day, a controversial Josh Batty goal won the title for Hall Road, who just needed to win at Campion, to win the league.

7. Farsley Celtic win promotion after extra-time (April)

Farsley Celtic players celebrate following their Evo-Stik League Division One North Play-Off Final match between Farsley Celtic and Ossett Town

With two minutes remaining, Ossett Town were up, but Richard Marshall struck. Farsley went onto win 4-2 after extra-time to win promotion.

6. Ossett Town win at Farsley Celtic to effectively secure a play-offs spot (April)

Martin Pembleton scoring his opener in Ossett’s win at Farsley on Easter Monday. Picture: Mark Gledhill

Martin Pembleton struck twice in a memorable and unlikely victory at Throstle Nest – a result which cost Farsley the title as it enabled Lancaster City to win it on the final day. For Ossett, it put them in the driving seat for a play-offs under Grant Black, still the best up-and-coming manager in the Evo Stik.

5. Penistone Church win promotion (April)

Penistone Church celebrate winning promotion

The so-called weaker team in the play-offs. Having shocked AFC Emley, Church completed their unbelievable triumph by winning 4-1 at Grimsby Borough to clinch promotion.

4. Shaw Lane clinch the Evo Stik South title (April)

Shaw Lane celebrate winning Division One South

After the Dan Wilkinson tragedy, Shaw Lane honoured him by winning the title after a thrilling race with Witton Albion.

3. Shaw Lane AFC reaching the FA Cup first round (November)

After so many promotions, Shaw Lane ticked off another holy grail item by reaching the FA Cup first round. The Ducks played Mansfield Town in front of the live television cameras.

2. Stocksbridge midfielder Harrison Biggins completes his move to Fleetwood Town (June)

Non League Yorkshire’s James Grayson presenting Fleetwood Town midfielder Harrison Biggins with the Crawford HR Non League Yorkshire player of the year trophy in May

Non League Yorkshire’s player of the year Harrison Biggins followed in the footsteps of Jamie Vardy by securing a deserved move to the Football League.

1. Matt Pinder’s return to action for Worsbrough Bridge

Matt Pinder’s story is a tale of triumph over adversity

Matt’s first task on his return was to deal with Pontefract’s star man Mikey Dunn

Matt Pinder said the last ten minutes of Worsbrough’s last day 2-0 defeat to promotion-winning Pontefract were the best of his life. It is hardly surprising considering six months earlier, Matt feared he would never walk again. The heartwarming and inspiring article with Matt and his dad Ray is probably the best that NLY has ever published.

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